If you have acne, a healthcare provider may prescribe Benzamycin. This medication is a combination of two acne medications and works by killing acne-causing bacteria. It comes in the form of a gel that is applied to the skin twice daily. Although this medicine is generally well tolerated, side effects can occur and may include dry skin, itching, and redness.
What Is Benzamycin?
Benzamycin® (erythromycin/benzoyl peroxide) is a prescription medication used to treat acne. It contains a combination of erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide, two acne medications. This is a topical medication, and is applied directly to the affected area(s) of the skin. It comes as a gel that is mixed by the pharmacist before you receive it, or as individual pouches (Benzamycin Pak) that require mixing right before each use.
Benzamycin is made by Dermik Laboratories. Benzamycin Pak is made by DPT Lakewood, Inc., for Dermik Laboratories.
How Does Benzamycin Work?
Benzamycin contains a combination of two acne medications: erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide.
Erythromycin belongs to a group of medications known as macrolides. It works by binding to bacterial ribosomes, which are the parts of cells that make proteins. By binding to the ribosomes, erythromycin prevents proteins, which are needed for the bacteria to grow and multiply, from being made. This helps prevent acne-causing bacteria from growing on the skin.
Benzoyl peroxide is thought to work by killing Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), the bacteria that contributes to acne. P. acnes is an anaerobic bacteria, which means it lives without oxygen. Benzoyl peroxide is thought to release oxygen into the skin pores, which kills the bacteria. It also helps soften and peel away the outer layer of the skin, which can open up clogged pores and improve the skin's appearance.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Benzamycin Topical Gel [package insert]. Bridgewater, NJ: Dermik Laboratories;2010 May.
Benzamycin Pak [package insert]. Bridgewater, NJ: Dermik Laboratories;2006 December.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed March 30, 2011.
National Library of Medicine (US). Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?HSDB. Accessed March 30, 2011.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed March 30, 2011.
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